How to Correctly Pronounce New Orleans Like a Local: New Or-lins vs. New Or-leans

new orleans jackson square
We all have our pet peeves, this one is mine:  Many pronounce the city of New Orleans differently incorrectly.  I learned this very quickly as soon as I left the south and moved to New England for two years.  In Louisiana, it's pronounced New Or-lins (like a lens on a camera).  New Or-lins is the correct way to pronounce New Orleans. But after living in the north, I realized about 98% of the people pronounced it like New Or-leans (like a lean cuisine). And that's wrong.  The other 2% that said it correctly were from the south. 

Then there's the cringe worthy New Or-lee-ins and N'awlins (believe it or not, locals do not call it N'awlins, that's a joke). Both are also wrong.  So if you're visiting, please do us all a favor and say it correctly.  For example, we don't pronounce Arkansas "Ar-Kan-Sas" now do we?  And when someone from New Or-lins tells you where they're from, don't repeat said city with the pronounciation of New Or-leans, unless you like weird looks mid conversation.

So, now that it's clear, here's a mini lesson on the correct way to pronounce New Orleans like a local.    
how to pronounce new orleans like a local
When you are referring to the city.  "I live in New Or-lins."

When you are talking about the best football team ever.  "The New Or-lins Saints will win the Super Bowl, again."

When you are singing the opening verse of Mardi Gras Mambo by the Hawketts. "Down in New Or-lins where the blues was born."

When you are bragging about the food. "New Or-lins has the best cajun/creole food."

Note, in Louisiana, New Orleans is referenced as New Or-leans... sometimes.  But it's still New Or-lins, besides when referencing the following listed below.
toulouse and bourbon street new orleans
When you are referring to the parish (we don't have counties). "Or-leans parish is under a flood watch."

When you are singing the chorus of Mardi Gras Mambo by the Hawketts. "Mardi Gras mambo, down in New Or-leans."

When you are singing Tim McGraw's Southern Girl song. "A little bit crazy like New Or-leans."

When you are referring to the street. "Turn left on Or-leans street."

And that's about all I can think of.  So there's the very few exceptions when New Or-leans is used, otherwise it's Or-lins. We Louisianians like to keep things complicated (see Tchoupitoulas Street, pronounced chop-a-too-lis) so having one standard way to say New Orleans is out of the question!  Words are almost never pronounced how they seem here!  If you disagree, thank the French!?

I'm curious, how do you pronounce New Orleans? 

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